I debated breaking down this series of posts by car company then by brand and vehicle offerings. But this blog is about websites, right? Besides all of the really relevant data I would use to breakdown individual offerings is not always publicly available. Instead, I’ll provide an initial approach to how I would remedy the situation.
Assumptions are that external factors will improve in 2009. The credit market is in order so people can buy cars. The industry really doesn’t have much control over this and despite the best efforts of Washington the changes have not really taken affect for autos. Added to this is the assumption that the economy will improve limiting the impact of job losses and potential layoffs.
Ford: They are best positioned at the moment. Looking at the models and market research may provide some insight into how to adjust the offerings. Keep focus on the core and don’t get lost in new products.
GM: These guys are in a tough spot. Serious attention to duplication of models across the brands needs to be examined. Selling the same model with three different badges isn’t going to work. In the web world you would lose search position either by duplicate content or by diluting the market. So consolidate and shuffle the offerings of the brands to be appropriate. For example, Chevy shouldn’t offer vehicles from under $10k-over $70k.
Chrysler: You need a draw to get customers to view your products. A 2009 version of the K car or Minivan. Perhaps it is time to scale back to a niche car company. Models like the Viper and Prowler were great for those that can afford it. For the rest Minivans and Jeeps are solid. Get back to basics.